Article by Austin Lansing
Remodeling for Retirement and Beyond – Home – Home Repair
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Statistics show that more and more seniors are wanting to remain in their own homes in the later stages of life, as opposed to being admitted to a seniors home or facility. What this has created, is a demand for a niche market that remodels homes for seniors. This market is dedicated to understanding and offering remodeling services that cater to the needs of this aging homeowner population. Whether you are wanting to remodel for yourself and/or your partner in preparation for the years ahead, or if you are considering updating your house to make it “senior friendly” for resale, there are particular elements to consider.
Before we head into a list of great remodeling projects to think about, there is one forewarning that should be headed: Although certain remodeling projects can add resale value for a niche market of seniors looking for a home that suits their particular needs and disabilities, take note that too many major renovations in this regard can harm the potential resale value of a home. It is best to err on the side of modesty with your renos, so that you don’t alienate future buyers.
Homeowners of any age can benefit by incorporating innovative designs into their home improvement plans, creating not only a stylish environment, but also a safe and comfortable home for years to come. The following are home modification suggestions that can be both stylish and functional for an aging population.
– Widen hallways and doorways for greater mobility. Doorways at least 2-feet-10-inches to 3-feet wide are considerably easier for seniors using a walker or a wheelchair
– Replace treacherous steps outside and inside with elegant tamps. (they don’t need to look like they belong in a hospital!) A good designer can streamline function into fashion, and that is what you should be aiming to do. Take note, stairs that are a minimum of 7-inches high and 11-inches wide are the most safe and easiest to climb.
– Remove bathtubs and replace with roll-in showers. If you are working with a home that has two bathrooms try to keep one bath in tact. This is key for resale as you have then optimized one bathroom for seniors and one can remain standardized.
– Other simple bathroom renos include installing a hand-help shower, putting in non-skid strips in the bathtub and replace a standard-height toilet with a taller model.
– Remove carpeting to expose hardwood floors or replace carpeting with floor tile for better wheelchair accessibility.
– Lower cabinets and counter tops to wheelchair height and create spaces beneath these areas for a chair to roll under.
– Evaluate the height of appliances like dishwashers and stoves. Consider raising them to accommodate those with back problems or impaired mobility.
– Find ways to improve lighting throughout the house. Floor level night -lights can be very helpful in preventing a fall. Remember that conventional flip light switches and round doorknobs can present challenges to those with arthritis. Install rocker switches and replace lever-style door knobs with easier alternatives.
– Install doorbells that light up as well as ring, to accommodate hearing impairments.
As you design a remodeling plan, consider that the kitchen and bathroom often demand the most thorough changes. With the rest of the house you want to focus on wheel chair access and good lighting to help with easy mobility from room to room.
About the Author
Austin Lansing is the Manager of Operations with High Country Realty, an agency that specializes in Blue Ridge real estate. Explore Jasper real estate listings to view beautiful properties in Pickens County and around the North Georgia area.
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